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Wild Horses
Credit: IDRS, Inc.

It is no secret that the United States Bureau of Land Management has been rounding up wild Mustangs from various areas in the States including Washington, Nevada, California and Arizona. Through the BLM's Adoption Program, which began in 1971, over 230,000 wild horses have been placed in homes. 

There are many horse lovers who respect and appreciate the Wild Mustangs and, while animal advocates across the United States would prefer that these herds were left alone, they come together at these adoption events to help these horses find a safe place to land once taken from their natural habitat. 

MustangIDRS, Inc.Some of the wild Mustangs and burros that are captured and put up for re-homing are "gentled" through various programs across the country including programs through prisons and Mustang foundations, which introduce them to being handled and get them ready for their new homes. 

That being said, Mustangs do require more work than the domestic horse. Firstly, every one of them is different. They are essentially of no particular breed, but rather of mixed blood. They come in all shapes and sizes, and each animal has its own personality. As per the BLM adoption site, "a typical wild horse stands about 13 to 15 hands high (52- 60 inches) and weighs about 700 to 1,000 pounds. Wild burros average 11 hands high (44 inches) and weigh about 500 pounds".

One of the major challenges of adopting one of these wild horses or burros - all of which who need homes once they come off Federal lands - is to develop trust between yourself and your new companion. Once that bond is created though, Mustangs prove to be some of the best horses out there.

If you are looking to give a home to one of the many homeless wild Mustangs and burrows, you need to understand the stipulations regarding adoption. One of which is that adopters are required to look after the animal for one year before they receive their ownership papers from the Federal government.

Additionally, to adopt a wild horse or burro, you must:

  • be at least 18 years of age (Parents or guardians may adopt a wild horse or burro and allow younger family members to care for the animal.);
  • have no prior conviction for inhumane treatment of animals or for violations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act;
  • demonstrate that you have adequate feed, water, and facilities to provide humane care for the number of animals requested; and,
  • show that you can provide a home for the adopted animal in the United States.

Wild HorseIDRS, Inc.

If you are ready and able to adopt, there are dozens of adoption dates across the United States. For example, there are four adoption events throughout the remainder of March including:

  • March 14th and 15th in Laredo, TX
  • March 21st in Canon City, CO
  • March 21st to 23rd in Norco, CA
  • March 28th and 29th in West Monroe, LA

You can view additional adoption dates here. As well, you can view a list of available horses on the BLM's Internet Adoption site here

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